UPMC Post-COVID Pulmonary Recovery Care
Tim Kane – Patient Testimonial
Getting over COVID-19 wasn't easy for Tim Kane, even after he left the hospital in November of 2021. After five and a half days recovering from the respiratory virus, he was discharged but admitted he had no direction about his next steps.
“They took care of me in the hospital, but when I left there was not a lot of support. I was led to believe I should come home and sit with my oxygen bottles and wait to get better. I didn't get better."
Simply moving around the house was a struggle for Tim. That is when his doctor recommended a pulmonary rehab program. After calling around to several places without success, UPMC Hanover scheduled Tim with its Pulmonary Rehab program almost immediately.
Relieved to begin his recovery, he met with a pulmonologist for a complete evaluation, which confirmed he was a candidate for the program. For several weeks, Tim participated in closely monitored exercises. His vital signs were recorded before and after exercise to ensure they were within the guidelines.
Tim describes the team of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and physical therapists as understanding and sympathetic. They made him work, but they also made him feel like there was some light at the end of the tunnel.
"Post-COVID, I still had a lot of coughing and congestion. Walking 30 yards from my car to my house left me breathless. The UPMC Post-COVID Pulmonary Recovery Care program changed that.”
While initially the therapists were not sure if Tim would be able to get off oxygen, they told him he would get better. And he did.
Thanks to the breathing exercises he learned, his lungs are stronger, and Tim is active. He enjoys gardening and riding his stationary bike every day for 30 minutes. He is grateful for the ability to breathe easier and get back to his life.
“When I started the program and walked on the treadmill, I was on nearly six liters of oxygen. When I left, I was on only two liters. Today, I am off oxygen. That was my goal from day one.”
“I would not be here if it were not for the UPMC Hanover team. I knew I was in good hands. Without them, I would still be carrying a bottle of oxygen with me and living in fear.”
Tim continues to see his primary care doctor and follows the advice provided by his therapy team. For Tim, challenges are inevitable, but he now knows how to get beyond them.
“The one thing that COVID taught me is that things don't happen overnight. Recovering is a long trip but learning how to take care of yourself is worth exploring. I can't say enough about everyone at UPMC Hanover and am thankful for everything I learned. I strongly recommend UPMC and their pulmonary recovery program.”
This patient's treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.